UIC e-News #276 - 1 February 2012

International Rail Events in 2012

2012: A series of major world events organised by UIC together with its members and institutional partners


UIC, in close collaboration with its members, will initiate a number of international railway events and participate as a partner in a series of major transport events in 2012. These congresses, conferences and forums will provide unique opportunities to promote international cooperation between members, develop new partnerships and boost exchanges on best practice at global level.

Major UIC and international transport events planned for 2012:

18 – 20 April 2012, Taipei: 2nd UIC High Speed Interaction Workshop - Maintenance of High Speed Rail Systems organized at the kind invitation of THSRC. Contact: segeral@uic.org

24 – 26 April 2012, Stockholm: 10th UIC ERTMS World Conference (“ERTMS Global Dimensions”), organised by UIC with Trafikverket, the Swedish transport administration, UNIFE, CER, EIM, ERTMS and GSM-R Users’ Groups. Contact: ertms2012@congrex.com; website: www.ertms-conference2012.com

2 – 4 May 2012, Leipzig: International Transport Forum’s 2012 Summit (“Seamless transport: Making connections”) organised by ITF, the global transport policy platform linked to the OECD. UIC will be participating to represent the worldwide rail sector. Information: www.internationaltransportforum.org/2012

7 June 2012: ILCAD (International Level Crossing Awareness Day) coordinated by UIC at the initiative of ELCF, and backed by CER and EIM, etc. Contact: fonverne@uic.org or www.ilcad.org

17 – 19 June 2012, Rio de Janeiro: UIC Sustainability Reception and Workshop on Railway Potential in Latin and South America at Rio+20 Earth Summit. Contact: veitch@uic.org

10 – 13 July 2012, Philadelphia, USA: UIC HIGHSPEED 2012, 8th World Congress on High Speed Rail (“High Speed Rail: Connecting People, Building Sustainable Prosperity”), organised by UIC with APTA (American Public Transport Association), in cooperation with AAR, Amtrak and the Federal Railroad Administration (US DoT). Information: www.uic-highspeed2012.com. UIC General Assembly will be held during the same period (9 July 2012) in Philadelphia.

7 – 12 October 2012, London: world rail safety week including International Railway Safety Conference (IRSC): http://www.irsc2012.org, 7 – 12 October, 12th Global Level Crossing and Trespass Symposium (GLXS): www.levelcrossing2012.org, UIC Safety Platform, 11 October 2012. Contact: fonverne@uic.org

17 – 19 October 2012, Tangier, Morocco: 3rd Global Rail Freight Conference (GRFC), based on the theme “Railway transport – what role does it play in the development of global logistics?”, jointly organised by UIC and Moroccan State Railways (ONCF)

24 – 26 October 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia: 8th UIC World Congress on Rail Security jointly organised by UIC with ZSSK. Information: security@uic.org

25 – 27 October 2012, Venice: UIC World Sustainability Conference jointly organised by UIC with Ferrovie Italiane (FS)

12 December 2012, Paris, UIC General Assembly: UIC 90th anniversary event, World Rail Innovation Award (dates to be confirmed).

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Latin America

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux attends New Year Latin American reception hosted by MEDEF International (Paris, 19 January 2012)

On 19 January, UIC Director-General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux met all the Latin American Ambassadors present at the New Year’s reception hosted by MEDEF International, of which he is Vice-Chairman for Argentina. This meeting served as an opportunity to raise the issue of railway sector development in the context of trade within MERCOSUR, and all the added value that UIC can bring to its new members in both Argentina and Brazil.

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Railway Safety

UIC spearheads a study on safety culture in the railway sector

On 19 January, UIC launched a study on safety culture in the railway sector. A number of railway companies and infrastructure managers were brought together during the kick-off meeting organised by the Human Factors working group, which is run under the UIC Safety Platform.
The work will focus on current best practice in the area of safety culture, and aims to:

  • Identify and characterise the safety culture as practised within railway companies
  • Establish the best methods
  • Identify the tools enabling a safety culture to be effectively implemented in the railway sector as a whole
  • Learn from other areas of industry (nuclear, oil, chemical, air and maritime)

The eventual aim is for UIC and its members to propose a common project, enabling railway companies and infrastructure managers to empower not only those involved in the safety sector, but all staff in general to develop a common culture.

For more information please contact Virginie Papillault: papillault@uic.Org

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High Speed Rail / World Congress

UIC HIGHSPEED 2012 “monthly corner”: Stay up-to-date with the organisation of the 8th World Congress on High Speed Rail!

Call for papers: 10 February, new deadline to submit abstracts

View of Philadelphia, PA

The organisers of UIC HIGHSPEED 2012 invite you to submit an abstract based on the themes of the congress. This call for papers is open to anyone interested in presenting a paper. If you wish to make a presentation, you are invited to submit an abstract no later than 10 February 2012.

The themes of the congress are:

  • Society, environment, economy, finances
  • Commercial aspects
  • Infrastructure
  • Rolling stock
  • Operations, safety, security
  • Engineering and project management
  • Corridors
  • Etc.

All applications must be sent to the following address:

To see more details about guidelines for speakers, please consult:

JPEG - 43.1 kb

For more information please contact Ignacio Barron: barron@uic.org

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Sustainable Development / Energy

UIC supports the AFRICA EXPRESS initiative

UIC Director General Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux as well as Mr Mohamed Rabie Khlie, Chairman of the UIC African Region and Moroccan Railways (ONCF), are pleased to announce its support to the “Africa Express” initiative that comes as part of the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, and which is also backed by UNEP.
The project, sponsored by Yann Arthus Bertrand, Chairman of GoodPlanet Foundation, has already received support from a number of institutional stakeholders such as the IEA (International Energy Agency), United Nations Global Compact, ADEME, AFD, and GVEP International.

During an eight-month train journey across the African continent – covering a distance of over 20,000 km – the project will study 20 green energy projects in the field in Africa, using the train as the primary means of transport, and thus promoting among others sustainable mobility.

The main objectives include:

  • Identifying technologies and key success factors
  • Promoting good practice and development possibilities for all renewable energies
  • Attracting national and international investors to follow and replicate the projects

This commitment from UIC comes in line with its global strategy in the field of sustainable development and with its efforts to answer the challenges of sustainable mobility in all parts of the world.

For more information on the project, visit www.africaexpress.org

For more information on UIC support, please contact Paul Véron: veron@uic.org

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UIC’S 90th Anniversary

Postage stamps issued around major milestones in UIC’s history

UIC currently seeking copies of these national stamps as part of its 90th anniversary

Since the founding of UIC in 1922, a number of postage stamps have been issued to mark some important milestones in the history of the international railway association. Some stamps marked the creation of the association or anniversaries – with special attention given to the 50th anniversary in 1972. A number of stamps were produced for the occasion of the international railway congresses that UIC organised every four years together with IRCA/AICCF, the International Railway Congress Association.

This picture illustrates some of the stamps dedicated to UIC anniversaries or to UIC/IRCA international railway congresses that were issued by postal administrations in Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, France, Hungary, Italy, Monaco, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and Yugoslavia.

As part of UIC’s 90 year anniversary, copies of all these national stamps are intended to be made and presented all together on a flyer made available to members.

For this purpose, please send copies (paper or electronic versions) of stamps produced in your country featuring UIC to:

UIC Communications Department (90 year anniversary), 16 rue Jean Rey, F – 75015 Paris, France, or to com@uic.org

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UIC eNews Satisfaction Survey

Your opinion matters to us!

This summer UIC will publish its 300th edition of UIC eNews, the weekly newsletter which reports on UIC’s projects and activities, and which strives constantly to keep in phase with current events.

Between now and the release of this anniversary edition, we would like to make some improvements that reflect your expectations as far as possible.

The enclosed survey, which will help us to better meet your needs, also gives you the opportunity to have your say and send us your thoughts and comments.

The results of the survey will be available in a further edition.

Thank you in advance for your feedback and contribution!

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UIC Visit

UIC delegation visits Romanian Railways (CFR SA)

From left to right: Jean Nicolaus, CFR SA Director of Institutional Relations and Strategy, Jean Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, Ioan Pintea, CFR SA Deputy Director General and Constantin Manea, Advisor of the CFR SA Director General
CFR SA Regional HQ in Brasov

On 17 January UIC met the representatives of Romanian Railways (CFR SA) at Brasov, where the regional headquarters are located. UIC was represented by its Director-General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, while CFR was represented by its Deputy Director-General Mr Ioan Pintea.

The meeting served as an opportunity to discuss CFR’s current situation during this difficult period, and the measures that the government has taken to restore equilibrium to the economy. The measures will be implemented over the next six months.

Cancellation of debts with regard to the penalties accumulated vis-à-vis the State and electricity suppliers will be followed by a programme of regular contributions by the State towards the cost of infrastructure maintenance and renewal, in order to ensure economic stability.

The debts incurred vis-à-vis the State have been cancelled through an increase in CFR’s capital.

During this meeting, Mr Pintea also underlined the development of investments for upgrading corridors 4 and 9 with EU cohesion fund grants.

For more information please contact Teodor Gradinariu, UIC Senior Advisor: gradinariu@uic.org

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Level Crossings

GLXS 2012 registration and call for abstracts now open

Sunday 7 October to Friday 12 October 2012 (London, UK)

The GLXS 2012 Organising Committee is pleased to announce that registration and the call for abstracts for the 12th Global Level Crossing and Trespass Symposium (GLXS) are now officially open.

This year’s conference is co-hosted by the Rail Safety and Standards Board, Network Rail and the Office of Rail Regulation.

The theme of the 12th Symposium will be ‘Working together to improve safety and performance at level crossings’. The event in London will also consider trespass on the railway, accessed from level crossings, as an additional safety issue.


Delegate registration for the conference is GBP 540 (inc VAT) and this includes all of the traditional elements – three days of conference (including a half day combined with the International Railway Safety Conference), a full social programme, starting on Sunday 7 and technical visits on 11 and 12 October.

An exciting partner programme is also arranged for the three days of the conference, and including all of the GLXS social events is available for GBP £240 (inc VAT).

To register, please click below and follow the prompts to register and complete your payment. Payment is required to confirm your attendance:


The conference will be held at the St. Pancras Novotel, London. Special delegate rates have been secured at the St. Pancras Novotel Hotel from Friday 5 October to Friday 12 October 2011. To book accommodation at the St. Pancras Novotel, please click at: http://www.levelcrossing2012.org/Ve...

Accommodation has also been secured at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, which is located a short walk from the St. Pancras Novotel. To book accommodation at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, please click at: http://www.levelcrossing2012.org/Ve...

There is a good allocation of rooms available at the special rates we have negotiated at the St. Pancras Novotel and the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotels, but it is possible that these could all be used up so it is advisable to book as early as possible to secure them. When all the discounted rooms have been booked, a higher rate will apply.

There are also several other hotels in the vicinity of St. Pancras where you can also book accommodation. These can also be found on the GLXS 2012 website:

The Programme

The GLXS 2012 conference programme overview is available at:


This is also an invitation to submit abstracts of potential papers to be presented to the conference – to be considered for the conference, these must be received by 20 April 2012.

A panel will review all abstracts received by 20 April, and the selection of authors to be invited to present to the conference will be based on the following criteria:

  • How the submissions meet the purpose of the symposium and address the theme and topics.
  • The originality of the paper.
  • New ideas incorporated.
  • The committee will also try to get a fair geographical balance among the papers.

The guidelines for submitting abstracts can be found at:

The Organising Committee looks forward to seeing you in London at GLXS 2012 in October.

For more information please contact Helen Dumbrell, RSSB Conference Manager, via conferences@rssb.co.uk or phone her on +44 (0)20 3142 5329 if you need any assistance.

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In Memoriam

Railway Association of Canada (RAC) sadly informed us about the passing of Cliff Mackay

UIC is sad to inform you that Cliff Mackay, President and C.E.O. of the Railway Association of Canada (RAC), passed away on 26 January at the age of 64.

The RAC released the following statement: “The RAC Board wishes to acknowledge Cliff’s valuable contribution to the leadership of the Association and our industry and wishes to express its sincere condolences to his family,” said Claude Mongeau, Chairman of RAC, and President and C.E.O. of CN. His spirit and wise counsel will be sorely missed by the Board, employees and members of the RAC. Under his leadership, the industry worked in close partnership with various government and regulatory agencies to accomplish a great many benefits, including a successful review of the Railway Safety Act Review Panel for which results are now before Parliament. Other industry efforts during his tenure resulted in increased capital cost allowances for Canadian railways that generated significant savings and investment for the industry and new infrastructure support for short line railways.”

“RAC staff was inspired by the way he dealt with his illness with no complaint, a fighting spirit and endless optimism,” said Bruce R. Burrows, Vice President, Public and Corporate Affairs. “He was a fine leader, a valued colleague, and a good friend. We will miss him profoundly.”

The relationship between the UIC and the RAC has always been one of mutual support and there are strong links in which Cliff Mackay took a keen interest especially in the areas of safety (level crossings, IRSC etc) as well as the work related to freight operations and the International Heavy Haul Association.

On behalf of the worldwide railway community, all UIC staff members wish to express their sincere condolences to Cliff’s family, colleagues and friends.

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News from Members

USA: U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $77 Million in Transportation Research and Education Grants

On 17 January 2012 U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced $77 million in grants to 22 University Transportation Centers (UTCs) to advance research and education programs that address critical transportation challenges facing our nation. The UTCs, which are located throughout the United States, conduct research that directly supports the priorities of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and the participating universities are a critical part of our national transportation strategy.

“Transportation matters in everyone’s daily life. These research centers will help us solve the transportation challenges we face today and those that we know lay ahead of us,” said Secretary LaHood.

DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), which administers the UTC program, used a competitive selection process to select ten University Transportation Centers (UTCs), two Transit-Focused UTCs, and ten Regional UTCs. The centers will advance U.S. transportation technology and expertise in research, education, and technology transfer. Each one of the selected UTCs will receive a $3.5 million grant which they must match with funds from non-federal sources. The 22 UTCs selected are all consortia, involving a total of 121 different universities.

“We are excited about the proposals these consortia put forward. They have the potential to advance basic and applied transportation research today and ensure a robust pipeline of professionals for the transportation workforce of tomorrow,” said RITA Acting Administrator Greg Winfree. “It is absolutely crucial that we continue to invest in research, which has the added benefit of attracting and developing the high level of professionals needed for innovation and expertise in transportation.”

UTCs work with regional, state and local transportation agencies to help find solutions to challenges that directly impact their communities and affect the efficiency of the nation’s transportation system. UTC projects are peer-reviewed and the results of their work are shared with the national transportation community to encourage greater progress through collaboration. The selected universities will research a wide range of transportation-related issues including shared rail corridors, innovations in multimodal freight and infrastructure, bridge inspection methods, and reducing roadway fatalities and injuries.

(Source: U.S. Department of Transportation)

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News from Members

Canada: the world’s fastest WiFi on rails

Eight antennas have been installed on a “brain car” at the front of each Corridor train set (© VIA Rail)

Feeling connected for work or leisure has become an essential part of everyone’s life, which is why one of the best features of VIA train travel experience (aside from the comfort, safety, and of course, the views) is the internet access. In January 2011, the Canadian Railways VIA Rail introduced a new state of the art WiFi system onto its first train within the Quebec City – Windsor corridor, replacing its first generation (originally installed in 2006). Since then, all train sets running in the Corridor have been equipped with WiFi and are successfully keeping passengers connected through their trips. So what makes VIA’s WiFi the “fastest on rails”? Two factors contribute to this success: the system and the providers. Concerning the system, one of the front-most cars of each train set (otherwise known as the “brain car”) carries not one or two, but eight antennas on its roof. More receptors mean more “hit” points, which translates into less dropped signals and faster downloads. If the signal is weak around one antenna, chances are it will be strong around one of the other seven. Each other car in the set is then connected to the “brain car” via a high speed inter-carriage link or ICL, which means a strong connection from the front to the back of the train, for all passengers, in every car. Concerning the providers, a big part of VIA Rail’s success is the fact that there are three great wireless providers that service the Quebec City-Windsor corridor. Instead of depending on any single provider, VIA aggregates all three. The WiFi system is constantly scanning the signals and choosing the strongest ones in any given area. In this way, there are virtually no “black holes” (areas with no internet signal) along the route.

(Source: VIA Rail)

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News from Members

Russia: RZD President signs agreement with Spanish manufacturer on gauge-changing trainsets

RZD President Vladimir Yakunin and Patentes Talgo President Carlos Palacio Oriol signed an agreement on 25 January that will see the Spanish manufacturer work with the Russian Railway Research Institute to develop rolling stock for RZD network. This covers the design, assembly and testing of three gauge-changing trainsets for the Moscow - Berlin route, as well as four 200 km/h trainsets to operate between Moscow and Kyiv (Ukraine).

The agreement was signed in Madrid in the presence of Spain’s new Development (including Transport) Minister Mrs Ana Pastor, who described it as ’a further step in the already long and fruitful partnership between Spain and Russia in the field of railways. She also signalled Spain’s willingness to bid for contracts to build the high speed line between Madrid and St Petersburg, ’given our obvious experience and capability’.

Source: RZD

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News from Members

Russia: VNIIZhT and Patentes Talgo sign contract to adapt Talgo passenger rolling stock to 1520 mm broad gauge rail system

Joint Stock Company VNIIZhT (Research Institute of Railway Transport), a subsidiary of Russian Railways, and the company Patentes Talgo, have signed a framework agreement to adapt the passenger rolling stock made by the company Talgo to the 1520 mm broad gauge rail system.
The agreement was signed in the presence of Vladimir Yakunin, President of Russian Railways, by Boris Lapidus, Director General of VNIIZhT, and Carlos de Palacio Oriol, President of Patentes Talgo. The signing took place in Madrid on 25 January 2012.

The agreement provides for conducting research testing on the products made by the Talgo company in the following areas:

  • increasing (optimising) the dimensions of passenger car bodies
  • adapting the Talgo automatic gauge change system to winter conditions
  • adapting the brake systems on Talgo rolling stock to the requirements and standards of 1520 mm wheels
  • adapting Talgo products to ensure electromagnetic compatibility with the infrastructure of the 1520 mm broad gauge railway system

In addition, the Research Institute will act as consultant to the Talgo company on the technical specifics of the content and operation of infrastructure and the rolling stock used in railway transport in Russia, as well as on the existing norms and regulations and technical and methodological documents used on the 1520 mm broad gauge rail system.

“This contract is one of the most significant steps in implementing Russian Railways’ plan to use this new type of tilting rolling stock with automatic gauge changing between Moscow and Europe,” said Boris Lapidus.

Alexander Kuznetsov, Russia’s ambassador to Spain, said that the agreement between Patentes Talgo and JSC VNIIZhT was the basis of the first international contract signed since the new Spanish government took office on 22 December 2011. According to Kuznetsov, the signing shows that Spain’s cabinet and royal family pay special attention to relations with Russia.

At the request of Russian Railways, VNIIZhT has already conducted a series of tests to determine the suitability of Talgo products on Russia’s railway system.

(Source: RZD)

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News from Members

Switzerland: increase in hydroelectric power for trains – SBB opts for renewable energy

In the next few years, SBB intends to increase its range of services, for which it will need an extra 400 GWh as of 2013. The company intends to achieve this by using exclusively renewable energy sources, and has signed a long-term contract to this effect with Électricité de France (EDF) to increase the share of sustainable energy from 75% at present to 80%.

A call for tender has been issued, with only companies able to provide all the extra 400 GWh from renewable energy sources, and totally transparently, qualifying to bid. All the electric power delivered to SBB by EDF from 2013 will come from the hydroelectric power station at Kembs on the Rhine (20 km north of Basel). In making its choice, SBB has taken into account the energy’s price and availability, as well as the environmental quality and traceability of the energy source. The contract signed between SBB and EDF is set to last until 2022.

Source: SBB

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Next meetings scheduled

  • 27 October 2016 RSF Plenary Session UIC Paris
  • 2 November 2016 Assistants European Management Committee Paris
  • 2 November 2016 European Group of Assistants Paris
  • 3 November 2016 89th General Assembly Preparatory Group Paris
  • 3 November 2016 7th combined RailTopoModel and railML® conference Paris, UIC
  • 8 November 2016 15th Asia-Pacific Management Committee New Delhi, India
  • 8 November 2016 22nd Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly New Delhi, India
  • 9-11 November 2016 4th UIC Asia-Pacific Control Command and Signalling (CCS) Workshop New Delhi, India
  • 9 November 2016 Safety Platform Plenary meeting UIC HQ PARIS
  • 15-17 November 2016 UIC braking conference Paris
  • 23-25 November 2016 12th UIC World security congress Helsinki, Finland
  • 23 November 2016 Freight Forum Vienna
  • 24 November 2016 RSF Steering Board UIC Paris
  • 26 November 2016 CDF Plenary meeting Vienna
  • 29 November 2016 - 3 December 2016 UIC Asia-Pacific Training Session on Commuter Regional Rail Systems (Asia-Europe) Moscow, RUSSIA
  • 30 November 2016 EMC & 23rd European Regional Assembly St Petersburg
  • 1 December 2016 Executive Board St Petersburg
  • 1 December 2016 89th General Assembly St Petersburg
  • 25-26 January 2017 UIC PoSE Meeting Paris UIC HQ
  • 14 February 2017 European Management committee Assistants Paris

UIC e-News Editor: Marie Plaud
English Editor: Helen Slaney
UIC Communications Department, Paris, 1 February 2012

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